Posted by: Ken A Locke | February 4, 2017

The Era of Milk and Laundry

I’ve been noticing lately, a change in our quantity and inventory.  A profound difference in quantities.  Normal items like milk, ground beef, laundry detergent, dryer sheets.

I remember a time when we went to the grocery store, to the dairy section, and put 2 GALLONS of milk into the cart.  No question.  We often wondered if we should just get 3 gallons so we didn’t have to come back midweek.  In our family’s heyday (not HayDay the tremendous phone game that I love to play – find that game in your app store) we would drink the crud out of milk.  2%.  Not whole, not skim.  Our kids would rush in from whatever middle or high school activity they just finished, grab the milk, and just glug.  Milk with dinner, milk before dinner, milk with cookies after dinner.  Angie and I would stand and marvel at their capacity.

Now that all three kids aren’t kids anymore, and are out of the house on their own, we find ourselves visiting the dairy section only now and then.  As a matter of fact, Ang drinks fat free 1/2 and 1/2 (fat-free half and half?  I’m not sure how to type that), and I mostly use whole milk for a cappuccino once or twice a week at home.  I USED to buy whole milk in (and here is my point about quantity) ONE QUART bottles until I had to pour over half down the drain because it spoiled in the three weeks it took me to drink it.  Now I buy ONE PINT.  And I hope that I use it before it goes bad.  Angie buys ONE PINT of “fat-free half and half” that lasts a week of morning coffee.

I know.  It’s not earth-shattering climate change data.  It’s not nearly the drastically different political change we’ve recently been experiencing.

Still.  Quantities.

Examine the change in quantities of a thing, and you can often demarcate a new era.  A new epoch.  A different time.  A season.  Of course, “for everything there is a season; there is nothing new under the sun”.

And, always, “Sunrise, Sunset”.

I trust there are still families buying milk in two-gallon trips to last them just a few days.  I’m sure the dairy industry has a steady supply of kids for whom “milk does a body good”.  I merely note that our family is now no longer leading the milk quantity consumption chart.

The other thing I am always amazed at is how little LAUNDRY we have to do.  We each do our own.  That way, we have clean what we want and when we want it.  “What do we want?? Clean Laundry!  When do we want it?? Uh, NOW, I guess!”

It used to be that, if we wanted to run a load or several of laundry, we’d have to get in line.  There was always an assembly line in front of the washer, the toilet next to it, the sink next to that, and sometimes (when we all had stuff to wash) out the door of the combo bathroom/laundry room.  5 people with either sports clothes or workout clothes plus work or school clothes – holy cow.  Go pee somewhere else cuz the door won’t shut until some more laundry is done.  Now, listen, when the kids were tiny, Ang usually ran the laundry.  But as we all grew, we each tried to do our own and take some responsibility.  It never fell to “only Mom” to get all that washing done.  We (mostly Angie) tried to get the kids to do their own, take charge, etc.  So when I say piles of laundry marching out into the hall, no one takes the blame.  It is simply a reality of QUANTITY.

Which brings me back to my point.  I can do a load of laundry literally whenever I feel like doing it.  I have two shirts I just bought that I want to wash before I wear them (and doesn’t EVERYone have to wash new clothes before you wear them??) and I may just throw them in here in a minute.  No waiting.  Plenty of laundry detergent.  Plenty of dryer sheets, too, for that matter.

It’s this kind of thing that marks the changing of the family season, even more than writing a new address for the kids in the address book (or typing a new address in their “contact”, as it were).

I love when the kids are home and I need to buy THREE pounds of ground beef for TMR (taco meat and rice).  TMR is just boring with one pound.  Oh, sure, a guy still makes it – it is just more fun when there a whole pile of people at the table (or in front of the TV watching “Big Business” or “Dumb and Dumber” for the millionth time) to eat it.

May I simply wish, then, that you enjoy the quantities that your season calls for.  Soon enough, those will change, and leave you wishing for more.


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